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Fill flash for Landscapes


ChrisV Plus
13 2.3k 26 United Kingdom
18 Jun 2018 2:32PM
The other downside to using a flash in low light is that it will potentially give you varying white balances. One thing that always strikes me with a lot of night portraits, is that although they can be very dramatic, it can look like your model is stood against a studio backdrop. While the effect may not be as startling when it is of objects we don't have such a clear expectation of colour temperature, it is something to consider.

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Philh04 Plus
14 2.1k United Kingdom
19 Jun 2018 8:55AM

Quote: incorporated luminosity masking into my post production workflow

Totally agree, learning luminosity masking is a great idea... it is also one of the reasons my workflow is moving to software other than lightroom to where I can use luminosity masking in a non-destructive raw workflow.

Certainly worth a bit of research for any style of photographer.
Nick_w Plus
12 4.3k 99 England
20 Jun 2018 12:51AM
The example posted is highly unlikely to be flash as the depth of brightness is too large - ie the flowers at the back are just as bright as those at thee front (research inverse square law) .

My guess is a composite as the Flowers and house appear to be lit from a light source (sun) over photographers right shoulder (check hotspot on the heart of the flowers). If you look carefully at the sun flare it doesn’t go as far as the flowers just stopping short.

As the flowers are backlit from the sun I would have expected a halo on the flower edges.

Over the years I have experimented with flash (including landscapes) luminosity masking (which I do in all / most of my work to a greater or lesser extent. And composites.
Paul Morgan 18 19.4k 6 England
20 Jun 2018 8:23PM
Fill flash is widely used, light painting illuminating a point of interest etc but not for something like this, he would need a sack full of batteries and a very long exposure.

Most probably photoshoped.
thewilliam2 2 1.3k
21 Jun 2018 10:48AM
Have you thought of measuring the colour temperature of the scene. This isn't as difficult as it sounds because colour temperature meters are usually available quite cheaply on Fleabay. You could then fit the appropriate gel to the flash so that it matches the ambient.

I've found that fill flash is often most attractive when it's a little less, something like 2/3 stop, than the metered value.
Chris_L 5 5.3k United Kingdom
21 Jun 2018 12:35PM
You can paint white balance adjustment to a raw file in Lightroom. You can add coloured gels to speedlites to mimic the ambient light. I think in your example that a daytime exposure has been combined with a dusk exposure then blended carefully.

A technique I've tried lately is to wait for strong sun from behind to glance off and shine through the foreground foliage, to backlight it. If you time it right you can get something interesting. This is my best attempt here



Philh04 Plus
14 2.1k United Kingdom
21 Jun 2018 2:47PM
Whilst you can meter the colour temp and add gels to the flash or balance colour temperatures in post, it does nothing to counter the inverse square law nor does it help the 'quality' of the light.

Flash used as a fill should be just that, it should not create its own shadows and should only enhance the overall lighting, not add to it, as such even -2/3 of a stop is too much.

This image used as an example is simply post processing, with the saturation for the foreground increased (may have been helped with a polariser) and some lifting of the shadows, a grad filter (either on the lens or in post) has been used to tone down the background.

Personally I think it is a single exposure, no fancy blending of multiple exposures....
Chris_L 5 5.3k United Kingdom
21 Jun 2018 3:10PM
Nothing fancy about it, it's how HDR works and their other work such as this suggests they know a thing or two about combining images taken at different times into one final image.

250184_1529590383.jpg

Philh04 Plus
14 2.1k United Kingdom
21 Jun 2018 3:31PM

Quote:Nothing fancy about it, it's how HDR works and their other work such as this suggests they know a thing or two about combining images taken at different times into one final image.

Absolutely Chris, a lot of their work comprises of composites (I have to add not that well done IMO)... preparing a well exposed, composed image is often only the start... three stages - Tone - Colour - Presentation.
The image, presented as an example in this thread, I do believe is a single exposure that has been subject to post processing and that a speed light, by its very nature could not have been used to add the pop and shadow lift. Plus obtaining the original image at the right time of day...
I was a little surprised to see some still trying to advise on flash (wrongly too) when it has been well established that flash is not a practical way to achieve what the OP was asking.
Chris_L 5 5.3k United Kingdom
21 Jun 2018 5:36PM
I totally agree with you about the speedlite not being the light source and never ever thought that and was surprised that some people did.

I was suggesting to Andy that if he did go out with speedlites to do experiments, that he can use a gel to solve white balance mismatch.

I don't think it is a single image though, I can not see how you could get such dynamic range in a single image with no noise. A single view, yes of course, but I'd bet my life it's a bracketed exposure of 3 or more images rather than a single image. Hand blended into one.

A grad wouldn't account for the background looking like dusk and the foreground looking like an hour before. We should message and ask them!
ChrisV Plus
13 2.3k 26 United Kingdom
21 Jun 2018 6:11PM
My money's on at least two exposures as well. If you look at a section of the full size image it does look like the field is erased/painted in. There's just a bit too much contrast particularly at the extreme left of the image. So I don't think it's just tone mapping - there's not much evidence of noise from pushing the flower section either. Because the sunburst ends fairly abruptly at that same line I'm also tempted to think the shots weren't in quick succession.

I like it and it probably wouldn't be subject to such close scrutiny anywhere else, so I'm not saying there's anything clumsy about it.
Philh04 Plus
14 2.1k United Kingdom
21 Jun 2018 6:17PM
Maybe...

I could achieve a result very similar, it is actually quite easy to turn day to night or more precisely twilight and with care it is possible to lift the shadow areas... but, however the resultant image was achieved we are agreed it is the result of post processing (please note I avoid the term photoshopped Wink )

I have to be honest, I don't think they actually do a good job, in some cases the processing is glaringly awful. I have no problem with PP I am involved with it on a daily basis....
Chris_L 5 5.3k United Kingdom
21 Jun 2018 7:35PM
I think some of their other images cross a line, some are comically absurd, very poor tasted. The one we are talking about is fine but, maybe because the flowers are a bit too perfect, there's something not quite right about it.

This one can't be a single shot, so that tells me the original isn't.
Paul Morgan 18 19.4k 6 England
21 Jun 2018 8:12PM

Quote:I think some of their other images cross a line, some are comically absurd, very poor tasted. The one we are talking about is fine but, maybe because the flowers are a bit too perfect, there's something not quite right about it.

This one can't be a single shot, so that tells me the original isn't.



Well it is on a fine art site Chris.

Looks more like ND grads and post processing to me.


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